Research suggests that the average Instagram user spends approximately three hours on the app per day, this can be spent scrolling through our own feeds, or clicking through other people’s profile until we end up at our boyfriends’ cousin’s ex housemate, or something equally as tenuous. Instagram provides us with highlight reels of other people’s lives and we like having access to their feed, seeing what they are doing, wearing, eating or how their dog is. Being met with a private profile of someone you want to engage with passively or otherwise can met with frustration.
Why Do People Set Their Instagram To Private?
Privacy is something that is hard to come by in this day and age, especially on the internet. Instagram is one of the few platforms where you really can set your total profile to private. This stops anyone who isn’t following you from looking at your feed, interacting with your content or sharing your content. People set their profiles to private for a variety of reasons, it could be to keep their personal life away from their employers, stop family members seeing their antics or keep their location or new partner away from ex’s.
Privacy is something that we all value highly and having the ability to switch this on at a click of a button is what draws users to Instagram. Having a totally locked down feed limits how many people can access your content and gives you the chance to vet perspective followers and decide if you want them interacting with your content and you.
How Do I Make My Instagram private?
Making your Instagram profile private is really straight forward and easy. All you need to do is go on to your own feed, click the three bars in the top right-hand corner and select settings at the very bottom. From there select privacy and security and then account privacy. If your account isn’t on private, the button will be grey, when you change it to private it will become blue. You will also have a warning message if you are looking to change your feed from private to public to make sure you are aware that you are making this change.
Should I Change My Instagram Feed to Private?
Depending on what you use your Instagram for will dictate as to how you have your privacy set. If you have a small number of followers and don’t intend to become an influencer, engage with other influencers or businesses, then it might be best to keep it private. However, if you are looking to become an influencer or you are setting up a business, you will need to keep your content easily accessible to the public. A business or an influencer with a private profile is one that is limiting their audience and potential market reach therefore a public profile is the way forward.
What Do I Do If an Account I Want to See Is Set to Private?
What can we do if an account we want to see is set to private? Well, there are a few things that we can do to try and engage with the person that we want to.
Send a Follow Request
The first thing we can do is send a follow request. This is the quickest and easiest way to see if the person is happy for you to see and interact with them and their content. It is worth noting that some Instagram users will only accept follow requests from people that they know in real life, if you do know this person then hopefully, they’ll accept the request straight off. In some cases, it may take a while for them to accept the request, in this case remain patient!
What If They Don’t Accept My Request?
Some people will only accept requests from people that they know or have met in real life. If you are engaging with someone you have briefly met, why not drop them a direct message. Just say something along the lines of how and where you met as well as mutual friends you both share, this may help ease the tension and hopefully get the request accepted!
What To Do If You Don’t Know The Person You Want To Follow?
If you really want to engage with someone you don’t know on Instagram and feel like your follow request has been sat in their accept/decline box for a while, you can reach out to them. You can do this by sending them a direct message (DM). Introduce yourself and just give a short yet friendly explanation as to why you want to engage with them, it could be that you have mutual friends or that you’ve seen one of their posts and think you hold the same hobbies and interests. A hello, nice to meet you can go far!
What if all this hasn’t worked?
There are some people that just may not want you to follow them and will decline all engagement opportunities that you have tried. Maybe this is because they don’t want you seeing what they get up to or believe that you have no right to see what they are doing; this is often the case for ex partners. One way around this is to create a totally fake and fabricated Instagram. Create a new profile that is totally separate from your own, with a different name and feed feel and began slowly following people. The downside to this approach is that if you start following your desired target within the same day as you created the profile, it may not seem genuine. It will take time, but to actually effectively engage with your desired person, you will need to build up follower numbers and interactions. Most people won’t accept a request from someone who has 3 followers and started their account on the same day.
Search Them Out
9 times out of 10, peoples Instagram is attached to other social media platforms, like Facebook. Whilst Instagram’s privacy settings are easy to get your head around and can be turned on in one click, Facebook’s privacy settings aren’t anywhere near as simple. If you know their username, google or use another search engine to search for it. Due to the difference in privacy settings between the two accounts, you may well find that other platforms they use are far more open.
What About Online Services That Say I Can View Private Content?
It seems that with the rise of Instagram, so to have risen Instagram based services that are not affiliated with the organisation. There are a plethora of services offering to show subscribers private Instagram profiles, some are honest about the fee they charge up front, others are not. Instagram vehemently denies that it passes user information and content onto third parties, therefore we cannot advise the use of these services. Services such as these, if used, are done so at your own risk. They may ask for personal information, credit card details and other data before you are given the end product that they promised. It has been noted by some that these organisations then place malicious software or malware in the software with the end results of showing hidden content. It is one of those things where if it is too good to be true, it probably is. When it comes to third parties who promise access to content that is essentially locked down, err on the side of caution and be critical in asking why they want this particular information from you in the first place.
There are many ways that you can attempt to engage with a private profile on Instagram, from merely sending a follow a request all the way through to a google search of the username if all else has failed. It is always worth remembering that people set their accounts to private for a reason. This could be to stop family seeing what they are doing, not show their life outside of work to their employers or they don’t want other people viewing their content and reporting back to an ex-partner or friend. If you do have a genuine interest in someone’s Instagram feed, then it is always worth sending a direct message if you feel as though your follow request has been sat in their inbox a little too long. This approach can also be applied if you don’t know the person you want to engage with, merely introduce yourself and hope for the best. There are other approaches that you could take, a fake Instagram account is always an option, however this account will need to have the veneer of being a genuine account and this can take time, especially when you are trying to increase follower numbers. If you are looking to resort to a third party who says they can give you access to hidden content, be warned that we do not advise this course of action. Instagram insists that it doesn’t release private data and the companies that are advertising this service may well just be doing so, so that they can input malware or viruses on to your devices. Instagram is a fantastic tool for inspiration, ideas and bucket lists, it is also a really good way to connect with like-minded people, if you want to engage with a private profile, a hello might go a long way.